We arrived at Hunts only towing 1 boat instead of 3 or more. We unloaded the boats and rigged. The Sharp Family had been at Hunts from 8 so we already rigged. Tara, Bobby and Andy were sailing for their school so they were unable to attend. Helen forgot her kicker so we made a last minute rope to act as it. Once we had rigged our boats and got changed, we waited for the briefing. The commodore explained which rules were being used and what the course was. Not long after the briefing, we all launched.
There was some breeze but not much of it. The forecast said there was going to a lot of wind but it moved to the next day. Lasers and Handicap had the first start, then it was Toppers and Picos and finally it was Optimists and Teras. The wind was quite shifty during the day making it harder. As the lasers set off, Helen and I were getting ready in our five minutes. In the last 15 seconds I was drifting down the line unaware of how near I could get to the wind to go towards the mark. Helen decided to follow me down the start ever since Grafham when I had great starts. It was a good thing we were the other end of the line because Monty (a friend from Hunts) ended up capsizing in front of everyone. All the others were stuck behind him trying to go round him. We ended up sailing too far from the mark due to us drifting down the line. Helen was following the swarm of Toppers. I managed to gain on the downwind sections of the course and managed to overtake a few Toppers. Beth and Charlotte were in clear air making them sail faster because they didn't have lot of boats near them after their start. In the end, I came 27th and Helen came 32nd. Beth came 42nd beating a few other boats including some who didn't even finish and Charlotte came 38th.Helen and I were losing on the upwind sections, so after having some lunch we worked out what went wrong and what to improve.
After lunch we all launched again for the 2nd race. With more understanding of the course I sailed up to the start line feeling confident. When the Topper/Pico fleet five minute countdown started, I ended up starting my watch ten seconds out. In the last 20 seconds I completely forgot that this had happen. I was powering up but I stopped, thinking I would be over if I carried on but I could've had a great start if I remembered. After stopping I repowered as the go went, quickly catching the fleet up. After we all went round the windward mark, we were still a huge pack and stayed like that up to the next mark which ended badly. I was on the outside hoping for clear air to get pass this. I was starting to overtake the pack but it wasn't enough to get pass before the mark. Everybody started yelling "Room" as we all piled up to the mark. Harry (a friend from Hunts) and I were on the outside quickly bearing away to give them all room. Even though we had given everyone enough room, they decided not to use it ending in a lot of shouting and crashes. Helen was in the middle of this and another Pico thought he could go through on the inside, but there was no room so he just crashed. I managed to get pass this mess and sail on. Helen and I were beating a lot better in this race keeping our place. In the end I came 22nd, Helen came 28th, Charlotte came 38th and Beth came 41st. We all improved in that race. We came in for the final time waiting for the next race.
They moved the marks around to make the course different. There were different beats and runs. Also there were some nice reaches for asymmetric spinnaker boats. Once they had moved the marks, we all launched again. As they moved the marks, I checked out the new locations and what were going to be hard. In the last 20 seconds of the Topper/Pico start, I was powering up starting to move towards the line which was a few boat lengths away. As the go went I was flying over the line. My only good start of day. Helen was behind me with the Toppers going through line. I ended up getting a really nice beat to the windward mark with very little tacks. I was trying to keep the gap between me, Harry and some others to the rest of the Topper/Pico fleet. I managed to keep up with Harry for a while. On my last lap I was going to a mark as the rest of the Topper fleet were going to another mark further back and were really surprised. In that race I came 2nd Topper and 10th overall. Helen came 24th, Charlotte came 37th and Beth came 46th. I preferred that course to the other one. After a good day of sailing we packed up and went to the prise giving. No Paxton boats got any trophies but still did very well. I came 18th overall, Helen came 28th overall, Charlotte came 42nd and Beth came 43rd out of 45. Everyone did really well. Written by Will Russell